The set will be the follow-up to 2003's critically maligned album "American Life," which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, but posted the lowest sales of any Madonna album to-date
I HATE sloppy reporting. Poor sales do not equal 'critically maligned'. I personally think it's a fine record. Not that my opinion matters in such an argument. Critically divisive? That I would grant you. But 3 stars from Rolling Stone, B+ from EOnline, MetaCritic says it received "average/mixed" reviews. I've read this "critically panned" thing in more than one place now. I'm burning up. Just because something doesn't sell doesn't mean that the critics panned it. Ugh.
While it's true that the singleAmerican Life was greeted by a lot of negativity at the time of its release most of the criticisms were complete and utter misreadings of what Maddy Mo was up to on the CD. Reviews like this one (which claims its an unlistenable CD and rates it a zero (!) ) are perfect examples of how misread Madonna often is. The title song is not, if you listen closely, a celebration of Madonna's egocentricity but a discussion about celebrity and, by titular and thematic extension, American egocentrism. As is typical of Madonna she uses herself as the battering ram/joke to get the point across. Many people don't get her jokes and think her long faux-rap litany about her riches is actually a serious congratulatory reflection of what she considers to be important.
The jokes on her critics (as always). It's not a perfect song and her messages may be a little cloudy given that she does spend a lot of time vaguely soul searching in the song. But it should be clear from the way she spits out "do you think i'm satisfied?" after listing her many temporal rewards, that she's not championing her own blond ambition. She's getting at a lack of meaning or a spiritual emptiness that can greet you in a culture of greed and always wanting more, more, more.
Madonna has had to live down Material Girl her entire career. I hope her new record meets a warmer reception.